crossposted to Birding New EnglandLocated on Plum Island, MA, Parker River Wildlife Refuge is, by far, one of my favorite places to bird. It's not just that there's a huge variety of birds, but that it's very uncommon to find nothing of interest during a visit and so many of the regulars who bird there are willing to share their information readily with other birders.
Take, for example, this american woodcock on her nest:
There is no possible way I would have found this nest without help from a fellow birder (Nancy Landry, who has some very nice shots of all sorts of birds on the Island), who, a couple days after my photo was taken, got a photo of the mother woodcock with the hatched young right next to her.
After the fold I'll be presenting a photojournal of various birds I've seen at Parker River, along with some of my favorite experiences there.
Please note: almost every photograph here is a clickable link to larger versions of the same photo, with details that often include type of camera, type of lens, settings, etc.
Warblers and other small perching birdsWarblers, are by far, among the hardest birds to photograph in the wild. They range from small to teensy, and like to hang out in bushes and trees, which are often leafed out so as to render them virtually invisible. And yet, still, sometimes I get fortunate. Take for example, these two birds: a black-throated green warbler and a black-throated blue:
The first of these birds was easy. There was a flock of them hanging out in the trees overhead and I just kept taking photos and kept the best of the bunch. The second was an immense amount of work. There were several warblers on the boardwalk trail (near Goodno woods) bouncing all over the place. I was excited to see a black-throated blue, as I'd never gotten a good photo of a male before, but it kept itself behind branches, twigs, never allowing a clean shot of it. But, eventually, persistence paid off and it presented itself with a clean clear view.
Other small perching birds I've seen at the refuge include manypalm warblers, Ruby Crowned Kinglets, a blue-gray gnatcatcher and a savannah sparrow:
Duck-like birdsYou get a wide variety of duck-like birds at the refuge. One of the best photos I ever got there was of these
brants, which are small, dark geese, fighting over a piece of seaweed:
Another favorite, however, was this very close sighting of a
Northern Pintails are, during migration season, plentiful on the refuge:
But perhaps high on this list is this pied-billed grebe, which took me a few days of dedicated searching to find this close to shore:
Wading birds, big and smallBeing on a migration path, the refuge can yield some really nice shorebirds of various sorts. Clicking on the photos will give you larger versions with info about the specific birds in the photos:
And finally, this whimbrel:
And to conclude, a mimic
This Brown Thrasher was making all sorts of noise, but it took me some time to track it down. I finally set the camera on auto-focus and managed to get it properly set up, but it took real work: